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Inverness business leader sees red over new Highland Council recycling rules

By Ian Duncan

Rory Haigh and his double-axle trailer which he uses to transport garden waste.
Rory Haigh and his double-axle trailer which he uses to transport garden waste.

An Inverness managing director has raised concerns about the introduction of new restrictions at recycling centres.

Rory Haigh, of Fern Place, has used a double-axle trailer to take his garden waste to a centre in Inverness but was told on a recent visit that he would be banned from using it once the new Highland Council rules were enforced next month.

It is one of a raft of changes which are being introduced from February 3 including banning trailers longer than 2.4m or 8ft in length, vehicles with a gross weight of 3.5 tonnes or greater, tippers and flat-bed trucks of any weight, and plant vehicles.

A second phase of new regulations are due to be introduced later in the year which will place restrictions on the amount of construction and demolition waste to be taken to the centres.

Mr Haigh (48), who is the managing director of city-based Optimum Underfloor Heating, said if the measures led to more fly-tipping, it would cost the council more than the £300,000 over a period of two years that the new rules aim to save.

He said: “I have a one acre garden in Culloden so you can imagine the brown bin, that we already pay for, does not cope.

“The new rules will stop me taking my garden waste with my trailer, instead the council want me to make multiple trips with what I can fit in the boot of my car.”

Mr Haigh said without using the trailer it would involve 15 trips, each covering a distance of around four miles. He added: “Where is the sense in that?

“My wife and I work hard to provide a haven for wildlife and bio-diversity in an urban environment yet we are being penalised by trying to do the right thing.”

He said his second-hand double axle trailer had cost him £1200 and a new single-axle version would probably cost between £3000 and £4000.

“We live in a world now where the natural environment is wholly important and yet Highland Council is introducing huge barriers to the general public to recycle their waste in an environmentally acceptable way,” he added.

The council operates 21 household waste recycling centres.

A council spokesman said: “The change in policy is being introduced to help the council to tackle trade abuse, which will mean less costs in handling trade material and freeing up the recycling facilities for householders.

“Fly-tipping is an issue all across the UK and tends to arise from rogue tradesmen rather than law-abiding citizens.”

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